“Deep Blue: Chaos From Darkism” by Balzac

Artist: Balzac
Title: “Deep Blue: Chaos From Darkism”
Label: Misfits Records
Release Date: 7/31/2007
Genre: Horror Punk
Rating: 3.5/5

Balzac are the Japanese Horror Punk band who formed back in 1992 and styled much of their image and sound on the legendary Misfits. Their sound is very quick-paced and very up tempo in terms of its style and for the most part the stuff is rather catchy. Their album “Deep Blue: Chaos From Darkism” delivers twenty two energetic numbers that are sure to make any Punk Rocker an instant fan of what they are doing. The release opens with a rather strange piece which consists of sound effects and radio voiced dialogue and this blasts into “Godless”, a track that sets you up for what the band is all about. It didn’t hit me at first but I sure loved the next batch of tunes that followed it because the driving drum beat, quick guitar riffs and the very melodic backing choruses made me realize this album was going to be a lot of fun. While the songs “The Scare”, “In Those Days” and “D.A.R.K.” were immediately my favorites I found that they all blasted by me in less than 10 minutes in the same fashion as a Ramones track would and that’s good Punk in my book. It’s straight to the point of rocking you out and no time for explanations about what they are doing. I mentioned the stuff was catchy and it is so much the case that I was singing along with their “oh whoa oh” sections without any prompting to do so. As a Horror Punk band they might find some appeal in the fans of Wednesday 13, even though that Groovy Ghoul is a little more Metal than they are.

Of course those who follow the Misfits will find some pleasure in them and perhaps even those who worshipped the legendary Damned. I feel this is the case because there are similar themes of appeal across those particular acts. The album is a load of fun but like most Punk has a similar vibe to it on a number of tracks and this repeats itself again and again. It makes reviewing it a tricky thing but I was still able to get the vibe of it. The guys also deliver a cover of David Bowie’s classic “Ziggy Stardust” and while I am often touchy about such renditions I felt that Balzac did a proper job of Punking it up just a little more. It was acceptable in my book and did not taint the memory of the original. There are a few untitled tracks which I had no idea about the reasoning behind but in the end the album proved interesting enough to be something I could safely recommend. I didn’t think that the band reminded me of anyone in particular, and lead singer Hirosuke Nishiyama seems to be on the way of branding his own identity in the genre that stands out on its own. A booklet is enclosed inside and while it’s loaded with lyrics and odd photos we really don’t see a full band shot anywhere. Given that this was 24 pages I felt that we could have been treated to the bands unique look just a little bit. I say check this out because the music will not only keep you entertained but there is also a DVD to enjoy as a part of the package.

DVD: “Balzac Live At The Liquid Room, April 3rd 2005 (Complete Concert); Night the fiendish ghoul came out of the grave (Redux Version); “Fall 2005 USA Tour Documentarie; “Shocker” Promotional Trailer; “Gimmie Some Truth (Osaka, 2004); “XXXxxx (Yami Bandana Live, Tokyo 2004); “In Those Days”; “D.A.R.K. (Deep Blue Ver.); “Gyakusatsu-No Mukou-Gawa”; “Yami No Hikari e; “Deep Blue”.

*** The bonus DVD with this release makes it a worthwhile purchase because it’s not just a couple of random clips from here and there and instead is a full length concert, a tour documentary and several videos from the last couple of years. Normally we would see this kind of stuff released as a stand alone item, and since the band is building an audience in many different parts of the world of late I found this content to be welcome additions. The concert itself is a pro-shot feature with many different camera angles and to me it captured the energy of this very lively band in their element very well. The show runs a good hour plus and is bound to make you want to check them out since the audience is flying all over the place from the moment the band hits the stage. The tour documentary was also interesting since it delivers the inside scoop on the bands first US tour ever in their history. We see it through their own eyes in terms of the footage and the posted comments that lead you into each portion of the film. Having limited knowledge about the band before I popped in this CD and DVD I had to say that I enjoyed these inclusions. The viewer also gets the chance to see an earlier performance from 2004 and some of their promotional videos so this ends up being a very well-rounded DVD piece.

Track Listing:
1. Death And Confrontation
2. Godless
3. The Scare
4. In Those Days
5. D.A.R.K.
6. Horrorock
7. Ziggy Stardust
8. The Gaze
9. Rain
10. Untitled Track
11. Deep Blue
12. Japanese Chaos
13. XXXxxx
14. Untitled Track
15. Japanese Trash
16. I Cant Stand It Anymore
17. Alone
18. D.A.R.K.
19. Came Out Of The Grave
20. Gyakusatsu-No Mukou-Gawa
21. I Cant Stand It Anymore
22. Zetsubou-No Ano Basko-E

Official Website: http://www.balzac308.com

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